Posts Tagged: Dan Piepenbring

The Last Pilot

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Most writers have imagined the scene of their own death—in the hopes of stylizing the moment or savoring the thought of someone sifting through and publishing their old manuscripts. It seems that James Tate, even in death, outdid us all by leaving his earthly post in the most writerly way possible: with a delightful last […]

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Nosetalgia

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At the Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring revisits a century-old Japanese short story called “The Nose” (not to be confused with the Gogol story). Connecting it to contemporary narcissism and self-documentation on social media, Piepenbring makes the case that Akutagawa Ryūnosuke’s creepy tale is more relevant than ever: There’s a book to be written about the evolution of […]

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The Old Sad Soak

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The Old Soak is a hauntingly one-note character, and one wonders exactly what about his alcoholism made him such a bankable franchise. Imagine the pitch meetings that followed: “He’s a lush, see? He wants to booze it up, but he can’t, because of that cursed eighteenth amendment!” Yuks ensue, contracts are signed, and everyone has […]

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Dry Magazines

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Desert managed, impressively, to publish lively, intelligent writing about a very dry place, month after month. Dan Piepenbring browsed through archive.org’s huge magazine collection to discover Desert, a publication from the Southwest entirely devoted to… deserts! You can read more and take a look at some of the magazine’s covers over at the Paris Review.

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I Have Wasted My Life

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Over at the Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring talks about James Wright’s famous epiphanic poem Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota, in conjunction with Ann Beattie’s new story Yancey, and the general discussion and controversy of the poem’s famous last line: “I have wasted my life.”

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Searching for Cervantes

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After a Times article last March criticized Spain (and its literary establishment) for failing to unravel the mystery of the precise location of Miguel de Cervantes’s grave, a reinvigorated search may have finally yielded results. Cervantes was buried in Madrid’s Trinitarias convent, but the specific site was not marked (or not marked well); the discovery […]

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Discovering a Smart Poet

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Smart was known, with his “disturbed mental state,” for his loud, feverish, constant praying, and you can read some of that catatonia in Jubilate, with its litany of “for”s and its incantatory quality.  Over at the Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring introduces us to Christopher Smart, an interesting, unknown poet from the XVIII century who is […]

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His Great Wide World

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Ray Bradbury would’ve turned ninety-four this weekend. Dan Piepenbring commemorates his influence at The Paris Review: “Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s […]

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The Poetry of Power Tools

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Dan Piepenbring writes at the Paris Review about the universe inside industrial-supply catalogs, which offer a different kind of poetry to readers: And so I often reach for it in pursuit of a kind of materialist awe. It makes for a reading experience more engaging, imaginative, and informative than almost anything that passes as literature. I’ve put down […]

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Before QWERTY

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Before life on the iPad keypad there was life on the QWERTY computer keypad, and before that, the architecture of the typewriter. Dan Piepenbring reports on the history of the typewriter which was, ah yes, “rife with collaboration, ingenuity, betrayal, setbacks, lucre, acrimony, misguided experimentation, and bickering white men.”

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